Hundreds of Tornado Pets Find New Homes


Almost 750 pets from tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., found new homes … in just two days.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with the Joplin Humane Society to host an adopt-a-thon, hoping to find families for some of the hundreds of pets left homeless in the wake of last month’s devastating storm.

The organizations waived the application fees for potential new caretakers. The animals were microchipped, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated — saving their new owners hundreds of dollars in veterinary expenses.

The rescue groups were flabbergasted and delighted by the outpouring of support. More than 5,700 people from 24 states showed up.

The line was long, but the thousands of attendees waited patiently to fill out applications so adoption counselors could match the families with their perfect pet.

“We’re completely floored by the amazing outpouring of support,” says Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA’s senior director of field investigations and response. “Thanks to the generosity of these wonderful people, the animals left homeless by last month’s tornado are sleeping in new beds tonight.”

“My dad thought that maybe we could help, come get a dog, and we’re gonna name it Joplin,” said a young girl hoping to adopt.

“It is an amazing experience, after all this hard work and all the heartache just to see this many, the outpouring of people to come out and take one of these guys into their homes, is just, it’s phenomenal,” said Karen Aquino, executive eirector of the Joplin Humane Society.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the ASPCA has provided emergency sheltering for approximately 1,300 animals. Five hundred of those have been reunited with their families with the help of 89 rescue groups and a small army of volunteers.

Two hundred pets, including newborns and injured animals, are not yet available for adoption. But they will be ready to find new homes in the coming weeks.

Aquino has a reminder for people who couldn’t attend the Joplin event.

“There are many sweet and lovable animals waiting patiently for forever homes in a shelter near you,” she said. “You can make just as meaningful an impact by adopting a pet from your local shelter.”

[Sources: and San Francisco Chronicle]

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